Filabot Turns Dull Plastic Junk To 3D Printed Shiny

Are you swimming in a sea of dull, plastic junk? Filabot can help you turn the problem in to the solution. Or at least the feed stock for your shiny solution, which will be emerging from your 3D printer.

(Filabot video)

For desktop 3-D printers to work, they need some kind of material to work with. Most contemporary printers use plastic filament, available in spools from various suppliers. Filabot reduces the need for that stuff. Instead you can grind up household plastics or even past projects to make new lines.

Think a meat grinder on top of a pasta maker and you get the general idea. “Plastic extrusion is nothing new,” says McNaney in the Kickstarter pitch video. “The only thing we’d like to do is adapt it to the desktop environment.”

The need for something like this is enormous. The whole point of 3-D printing is that you can do rapid prototyping and customization of parts. This means that you can expect any given project to have lots of unwanted prototypes, to say nothing of failed prints or other errors. Go into any vibrant makerspace and you’ll find dozens of demo objects, broken parts and failed experiment lying around, the detritus of tinkering with objects. It’s similar to how in the early days of computerized workspaces, the “paperless office” resulted in more paper being consumed as workers reprinted documents over and over.

“I am working on this because this is the next system that is needed for at-home manufacturing,” says McNaney. “3-D printing is in its infancy, and when coupled with a Filabot a 3-D printer will be a complete closed-loop recycling system on your desk, office or school. I also see a lot of potential for helping out third-world countries. With a Filabot and a 3-D printer people can now make things as simple as a fork or cup.”

Fans of Neal Stephenson's 1995 novel The Diamond Age may recall the matter compilers, which served a similar function.

Via Wired.

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